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George Kelley and Joann Kelley v. Warren Yadon

February 2, 2011

GEORGE KELLEY AND JOANN KELLEY, HUSBAND AND WIFE, BOISE, PLAINTIFFS-RESPONDENTS,
v.
WARREN YADON, STEPHEN W. KENYON, CLERK DEFENDANT-APPELLANT, AND KIM YADON, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



Appeal from the District Court of the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for Cassia County. The Hon. Michael R. Crabtree, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Eismann, Chief Justice.

2011 Opinion No. 10

The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

This is an appeal from a judgment holding that the Plaintiffs are beneficiaries of a resulting trust in land titled in the names of the Defendants. We affirm the judgment.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In the late 1990's, George and Joann Kelley wanted to purchase a 670-acre farm, but they had neither the cash nor the credit to do so. They persuaded a friend to purchase the farm, and then they, their nephew, and one of their daughters entered into a lease of the property with an option to purchase it.

As the expiration of the lease and option to purchase was drawing near in 1992, the Kelleys still wanted to purchase the property, but were still financially unable to do so. George Kelley and his daughter Kim Yadon orally agreed that she and her husband, Warren Yadon, would purchase the farm in their names; that the Kelleys would make the payments on the Yadons' loans and would pay the real estate taxes and farming expenses; that the Kelleys would operate and improve the farm; and that when the Yadons' loans were paid in full they would deed the farm to the Kelleys. Kim told Warren the details and terms of the agreement, and he agreed to them.

George Kelley arranged a series of transactions to acquire the farm. On March 4, 1992, the Kelleys assigned their option to purchase to the Yadons, and they assigned the option to another friend of the Kelleys, who purchased the Farm. The Yadons then purchased a one-half interest in the property with borrowed money. In 1994, the Yadons obtained another loan to purchase the remaining one-half interest in the farm. As of August 4, 1994, the Yadons held sole legal title to the farm.

George Kelley continued operating the farm and making the payments. Occasionally, he was late with a payment, causing the Yadons to make a payment with their own line of credit. When they did, the Kelleys reimbursed them in full for those payments.

In 2004 or 2005, Kim Yadon told her father that they needed to get title to the farm out of the Yadons' names because they were having marital difficulties. George Kelley and the Yadons met to discuss how that could be accomplished, but they did not reach an agreement. Warren Yadon filed for divorce in May 2008.

On August 25, 2008, the Kelleys filed this action and recorded a lis pendens. Warren Yadon responded by serving the Kelleys with a notice of eviction from the farm. He also filed counterclaims for unlawful detainer and slander of title and sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to keep the Kelleys from planting crops on and possessing the farm.

The Kelleys filed a motion to dismiss the counterclaims on the ground that Kim Yadon was an indispensable party to those claims. The court ordered that she be joined as a party in the action. The case was tried to the district court on March 30 and April 1, 2009. Based upon the evidence, the court imposed a resulting trust on the farm in favor of the Kelleys. It also denied Warren Yadon recovery on his claims for eviction and slander of title.

The Kelleys and Kim Yadon each filed a memorandum of costs seeking court costs, including attorney fees, against Warren Yadon. He did not object to the claimed costs, and the district court awarded the Kelleys $26,032.81, and it ...


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